Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Guest Post: Cassandra Marshall - Tales from the Slush Pile

Karly says that me being an agent intern is a lot like being behind enemy lines. While I don’t think agents and writers are enemies, I can see where she comes from. I get to learn from the thousands of writers who query the agency I intern for. I get to see what they’re writing about, how to set my own writing apart from that, and the different ways to approach the query process.

What they’re writing about:

- Vampires. Even after all this time and moaning about the influx of vamps, at least 10 out of every 50 queries out there are about vampires.

- Angels/demons.

- Cops/detectives/FBI whodunit’s.

- Women with low self-esteem issues.

- Memoirs of people with boring lives.

Karly is blog-hopping!

While you're enjoying this fabulous article from the lovely Cassandra Marshall, please join me on her blog, www.camarshall.com, where I'll be blogging to her followers!  Enjoy!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Into the Shadows: Chapter 8 Part 1

Chapter 8 Part 1
The Debate

Click here to read Chapter 7 Part 2

Paivi Anderson
Current Events p.6
Dr. Hasenpfeffer

This week I read another article in the St. Andrew Herald by Jerome Knowles. It was called “The Final Debate: It’s too late for Senator Stevens.” He writes that Moira Kelly has already won the election. According to the polls, Kelly leads Stevens 64% to 46%. Knowles says it means Kelly will definitely win because in history, very few candidates come back from that kind of margin. Kelly also has bonus points with voters because she got the head of the Righteous Front, Malcolm Davis, to agree to talks after the election. Knowles thinks only a miracle will save Senator Stevens and his campaign at this point. I am planning to watch the debate on Sunday because I think it will be interesting and because it is a class assignment.

Paivi, enjoy the debate! B+
Dr. H.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Into the Shadows: Chapter 7 Part 2

Chapter 7 Part 2
A Most Unwelcome Guest

Click here to read Chapter 7 Part 1

He turned toward the pond, looking out at the sparkling water.

“I have a reputation to uphold. Christian Nelson wouldn’t just go up and talk to someone, especially a freshman,” he said smugly. “They all come to him.”

“Well I am glad you think enough about yourself to refer to yourself in the third person. However, I could care less about you and your reputation. So if you don’t mind, I’d like you to just leave me alone and forget whatever it is you think you know about me,” she grabbed two sticks out of the piles that had spelled her name and turned to head back to the party.

He grabbed her arm and pulled her back. She tried to pull away, but he only pulled her closer.

“I don’t think that’s possible. You see, I know things that I just really can’t forget.” His face was so close to hers she could feel his breath.

Her eyes flashed with anger. Unable to hold back this time, she felt the energy rush out through her fingertips. A strong wind rushed around them causing the twigs and leaves at their feet to dance, some clinging to the bottom of their cloaks. In an instant the air was calm once again. Christian seemed unfazed.

“Oh yeah, like what,” she spat, holding her ground.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Back to the Daily Grind

The school year has started again and I am now back to work, every day, all day.  Meh.  But even though my house is worth a ton less than I paid for it, I suppose someone still does, in fact, have to pay for it, right?  At least until I become a super-famous-NYT-bestselling YA novelist that pulls 7 figures on a deal. (I can dream, right?)

The upside is that I'm surrounded by awesome teenagers ALL day, which is cool because these kids absolutely feed my characters!  I'm really looking forward to this fall, though.  This is what I've got on my plate...

- Into the Shadows:  Currently revising, hope to have ready to go to the formatting dude in about 3 weeks.  Book cover is nearly done and hopefully will be able to share that soon.  As soon as I have a release date, I will let you know!  I also hope to have some parties and contests to celebrate!

-Blogs: I've been doing a bit of blog-hopping as well, you can find articles written by me at Flyover Geeks and I've got an upcoming guest blog coming soon on Cassandra Marshall's awesome blog! I'll let you know a date!

- MA in Writing and Publishing:  I start my first writer's workshop (Fiction Writing) September 9th at DePaul University with author Hannah Pittard.

- Conferences:  I'll be hanging out at the YA Literature conference held by Anderson's Bookshop in Naperville, IL on September 25 and chillin' at the SCBWI Illinois conference on November 13th.  I look forward to learning a lot and meeting a lot of cool writerly people!  Too bad they don't have a Blog Booth where we could all meet!!!

I may not be able to post on the blog every day, but I'll still be posting Into the Shadows on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.  Once revisions are finished, I will replace the partial chapters on the ITS page with the 'official' chapter, meaning the one that will actually appear in the ebook.  I'll also continue with the Adventures in Epublishing series (to update you on my progress) and hope to also have some more awesome guest bloggers, like Katherine Quimby Johnson and Michaelbrent Collings.  If you've got something great to share, let me know!  I'd be happy to have you!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Into the Shadows: Chapter 7 Part 1

Chapter 7 Part 1
A Most Unwelcome Guest

Click here to read Chapter 6 Part 4

Amanda’s backyard was a little cozier than the front, what without all of the gravestones, fog, and scary leaf monsters. The night was very clear, which made the yard bright, despite the moon only being at half strength. Paivi and Michaela walked towards the fire. There were already some partygoers seated on the outdoor couches, extending marshmallow-laden branches over the open fire. The flames crackled and licked the marshmallows, as if it wanted to eat them itself.

“Hey, where did you guys get those sticks?” Michaela asked.

“We had to go to the end of the yard, on the edge of the woods there.” Pointed a guy dressed as a pirate.
 “Wait, do I know you?”

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Experiences in Epublishing: Michaelbrent Collings

I remember it all so well. I was fresh off my second Nobel Prize for Literature, and was contemplating whether to throw away my Hugo or my Nebula award to make room for the new trinket on my "Shelf o' Awards" as I like to call it, when my agent came a-ringing. It seemed that Harry Potter-land in Florida was doing well, but not well enough. So they wanted to tear it down and build Michaelbrent-topia, and simultaneously do a movie about the whole process. Charlie Sheen wanted to play me.

The above, of course, is ridiculous. We all know Charlie Sheen is too busy going in and out of jail to want to play me.

Plus everything else I've mentioned. Picture the exact opposite. Plus picture me much shorter. Not so short. Somewhere in the middle.

There...almost got it...good.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Into the Shadows: Chapter 6 Part 4

Chapter 6 Part 4
All Hallow's Eve

Click here to read Chapter 6 Part 3

The girls leaned back against the counter of the bar and surveyed the scene. There was music thumping from speakers hidden out of sight. It was a mix of popular songs and Halloween themed songs, including ‘Monster Mash’ and ‘Thriller.’

In front of them was a huge recreation room. Off to one side, in front of a roaring fire, was a grouping of fluffy couches and opposite on the wall ‘The Exorcist’ played on a large movie screen. There were a number of costumed people lounging in the cozy corner.

With all of the costumes and make-up, it was hard for Paivi to tell who was who. She looked to see if Jason was over there, but she couldn’t tell.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Adventures in ePublishing: Step 1

I'm following J.A. Konrath's A Newbie's Guide to Publishing blog, and more specifically his post on the rules of epublishing as I prepare my YA novel, Into the Shadows, for epublication on Amazon and Smashwords this November. (Click here)

According to Joe, rule number one is this:

1.  Write a damn good book.

He also suggests joining writers' critique groups AND editing it yourself.  He feels that if you're a writer, you should be able to edit as well.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Into the Shadows: Chapter 6 Part 3

Chapter 6 Part 3
All Hallow's Eve

Click here to read Chapter 6 Part 2

The evening of the Halloween Party had arrived, and the air was cool and crisp. The leaves crunched under their feet as Paivi and Michaela walked up the ridiculously long driveway that led to Amanda Montoya’s house.

Amanda’s parents were well known in town. Mrs. Montoya was one of the top realtors in the area. There wasn’t a house for sale in St. Andrew that didn’t have her picture in the front yard. Her large, white SUV was covered with her picture and the logo of her real estate firm. Mr. Montoya owned a very successful chain of supermarkets called ‘Alfredo’s.’

The girls had known Amanda since their grade school years at Prairie View Elementary. They had been Girl Scouts together, and even though they didn’t see her all of the time, she still invited them to all of her events.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Guest Post: Katherine Quimby Johnson - Scenes from the Life of Pre-published Writer

I'd like to welcome aspiring YA author, Katherine Quimby Johnson to the blog this week! She's sharing her path to publication and her love of YA literature!

Scene 1:
A kitchen. A mother stirs something on the top of the stove, jelly maybe, or applesauce. Her four- or five-year-old daughter (me) is bored that fall afternoon. My mother tells me to get a crayon—I chose red—and a piece of yellow, lined paper. She dictated letters, I drew their shapes carefully on the paper, and she told me what words they spelled: pa, papa, pop, poppy, pup, puppy, pep, peppy. I looked at the pattern I could see emerging and asked, “What about p-a-p and p-a-p-p-y. She explained that the last two were words, but not ones everyone used. Writing, reading, loving language, it was all there on that one fall afternoon.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Into the Shadows: Chapter 6 Part 2

Chapter 6 Part 2
All Hallow's Eve

Click here to read Chapter 6 Part 1

Paivi headed over to her table and dropped her bag onto her seat. She felt good today. It was Friday, which meant two days to sleep in. As an added bonus, she would get to see Jason two extra days. She was also excited because basketball tryouts were on Monday. Not that the practices were all that exciting, but the games would be great. She felt the good day warranted a nice big chocolate chip cookie. They served them hot in the lunch line, the chocolate still gooey.

“Are you going to get anything Mick?” she asked and grabbed a dollar from her wallet.

Michaela dug through her backpack and pulled out a small purse.

“Let’s go. You’re in a rather good mood today,” Michaela said suspiciously.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Into the Shadows: Chapter 6 Part 1

Chapter 6 Part 1
All Hallow's Eve

Click here to read Chapter 5 Part 3

“Now can anyone tell us the positive aspects of globalization? Why is it a good thing?” Dr. Hasenpfeffer stood before the class. She was oblivious to the fact that most of the students in the class were not paying any attention to her. Some had snuck their headphones up through their sweatshirts and were listening to music. Some were passing notes. And some had even succumbed to a sweet mid-class slumber, brought upon by the consumption of too many Tartan burgers at lunch and the overly warm conditions in the classroom. Paivi turned to look at the clock and couldn’t help noticing that Michael Giannotti was in such a deep sleep that he was emitting a snore every so often and a large puddle of drool was spreading slowly across his notebook, causing the few notes he had taken to run. She was astounded by Dr. Hasenpfeffer’s lack of attention to this fact. She felt it was quite possible that the good doctor had just stopped caring whether they listened or not.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

My First Guest Blog!

I'm excited to announce my very first guest blog post!  I was asked to write a post about my upcoming ebook project.

Flyover Geeks reports on entrepreneurs and start ups from the Midwest and all the little places between New York and California.  I'd love it if you'd stop by their site and check it out!  Thanks!

Click here!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Into the Shadows: Chapter 5 Part 3

Chapter 5 Part 3

Click here to read Chapter 5 Part 2

“Seriously? What was Miranda Swenson thinking, wearing that hideous yellow dress? She looks like Big Bird!” Michaela giggled as she nodded discreetly in Miranda’s direction before shoving a cookie in her mouth. The table she chose had a perfect view of the people waiting in line for refreshments.

Paivi turned to look and snorted, hurriedly covering her mouth. The punch almost made a quick exit.

They didn’t notice two girls walking up to the table. The first was short and plump and was dressed in orange, resembling a pumpkin. The other was somewhat skinny and wore a green dress.

“Hey,” said Pumpkin, looking at Paivi.

“Um, hi?” Paivi tried to figure out if she should know the girl from somewhere.

“We’re supposed to tell you that Christian Nelson wants to talk to you,” Green Bean explained.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Big Announcement!!!

INTO THE SHADOWS will be released this fall, hopefully in November, 2010, as an ebook on Amazon (Kindle) and Smashwords (eReader, iBook, Nook, etc.).  I will still continue to post INTO THE SHADOWS (now three days a week) here on the blog for you.  

So as not to cause any confusion, no one is publishing me and I still don't have an agent.  This is definitely not a reaction to not having one or anything like that. I still plan to pursue an agent on my current and future books, in hopes of one day becoming traditionally published.   I have thought long and hard about this opportunity and I think I'm in the right place at the right time and I don't want to miss out.  While I in no way think that ebooks are going to completely take over the publishing world, I do believe that they are going to make a nice dent in the industry. As a matter of fact, I think they already have.  I would love to be part of this new book-related adventure and see where it takes me.  I'm also excited because I think the ebook market for YA has been sort of off-the-radar at the moment and I'd love to get in on the ground floor.

Into the Shadows: Chapter 5 Part 2

Chapter 5 Part 2

Click here to read Chapter 5 Part 1

The week of Homecoming was a whirlwind. The parade ended with Paivi’s Freshman Float coming in 4th place. Between Powder Puff, the Pep Rally and the big game on Friday night, Paivi was lucky to at least keep up with her homework. Sleep, however, would have to wait.

Saturday night was the culmination of the weeks’ activities. The dance began at seven, but Paivi and her friends gathered beforehand at Paulina’s house to take group photos before heading out to dinner. Paivi towered above the group, as usual. She wore a light pink cocktail dress, which came just above her knee, along with fancy silver flip-flops instead of dress shoes. She didn’t mind being taller than everyone, but she didn’t want to wear heels and feel like a complete giant. Mrs. Anderson had curled her long, blond hair into ringlets and stuck in a few of her grandmother’s antique hairpins.

“Here’s your corsage, my lovely date,” Michaela said as she pulled a box containing a flower from her purse. It was made of delicate, tiny, pink roses with sweet smelling baby’s breath. Being that they didn’t have dates, they agreed to buy each other corsages. Paivi had gotten Michaela’s with red roses to match her long, red, sequined dress.

Michaela twirled in front of Paivi, showing off her look.

Sunday, August 8, 2010


So I never thought to check this, but on NetworkedBlogs, I'd listed myself under the categories of 'writing,' 'publishing,' and 'young adult.'   I have checked the categories of Top 50 Blogs in Writing (where I am currently #49 and rising) and Top 50 Blogs in Publishing (where I'm rockin' it at #5) but I had never checked what the Top 50 Blogs in Young Adult were, and it turns out, I'M NUMBER ONE!!!

Okay, so this is still not nearly as cool as having an agent or getting published.  And the Young Adult category is really small.  But I'm hanging on to what I've got here, people!  Second on the list is my writing friend and author, Hilary Wagner, so congrats to her as well.  Check out her blog, she's got a great book coming out this fall!  In any case, just thought I would celebrate with you all, thanks for making me number 1 at something!!!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Into the Shadows: Chapter 5 Part 1

Chapter 5 Part 1

Click here to read Chapter 4 Part 2

The gym was decorated with Christmas trees and large, wrapped presents. Snowflakes hung from the ceiling along with clear twinkle lights. There was a dusting of fake snow on the ground. A large reindeer with a glowing nose stood in a small grove of evergreens in a corner. A snowman, along with Santa and his sleigh were displayed in another.

Students were heading towards the dance floor. Girls were dressed in elegant floor length dresses in rich colors of velvet, some with long white gloves. The boys sported freshly pressed shirts and pants, with festive holiday ties.

Paivi looked around, taking in the scene before her. It truly was a ‘Winter Wonderland’ as the banner that hung on the DJ booth stated. Someone had come up behind her and put a hand on her arm. She turned to find Jason standing there, a smile on his cheery face. She looked down to see his tie, where a line of elves were doing a Rockette-style kick line under Christmas lights, which were lit up by a small battery pack behind the tie. It was extremely cheesy, but somehow he made it look cool.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Into the Shadows: Chapter 4 Part 2

Chapter 4 Part 2
Open Seas

Click here to read Chapter 4 Part 1

“You must be crazy. Do you think I am going to pay you millions for a list of names? This meeting is over!” Senator Stevens rose clumsily from his chair, holding the Flash drive out to him.

“Senator, I guarantee you that I am perfectly sane. And yes, you will pay.” Lin snapped his fingers and one of his large guards jumped forward, coming to his boss’ side. He mumbled some instructions in Chinese, and the guard was released, striding over to the small group and snatching a surprised Martin by the shoulder. He half-dragged Martin across the deck, presenting him to his master.

“The receipt, young man?” Lin held out his hand expectantly.

Martin hurriedly produced an envelope from his pocket, handing it over to Lin’s perfectly manicured hands.

“It’s been a pleasure doing business with you, Senator Stevens,” he said, raising himself slowly out of his chair. “Chen will show you out.”

The man stepped forward, gesturing for the group to follow him. Chen lead them back to the side of the large yacht, where they clambered, one by one, back onto the less impressive vessel.

Senator Stevens’ yacht departed and moved quietly through the now-dark water, making its way back to the glittering lights of Miami.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Call for YA Guest Bloggers, Blog Tours, etc.

I'm more than confident that my readers wouldn't mind a break from my blather every once in awhile!  Any YA authors/writers/bloggers/inovators/etc., if you're in the mood to go on tour, feel free to stop by!  I'd love to hear what others are up to and will give you your very own guest spot!  Tell us what you're writing, where you'll be, what's hot on your blog, or whatever you want!  Please contact me at karlykirkpatrick@gmail.com if you're interested!

Taking a Risk: Update 2

I thought I would share some more numbers with you.

These were the numbers from the previous update, about a month ago:

The traffic report for the week of June 26 stated that I had 67 visits and 105 page views that week. An average visit lasted 1 minute 24 seconds.

For the week ending July 3, which includes the first two days of posting the novel, I had 118 visits and 269 page views. An average visit lasted 3 minutes 49 seconds.

 This last week (ending July 31), I had 116 visits and 273 page views.  An average visit lasted 2 minutes 20 seconds.

I still am not sure what visit vs. view means, please leave a comment if you do!  I think a view means they didn't surf around, just looked at one page.  Visit makes me think they hung out for a bit, visited a few other things on the site than what originally brought them by.

I had a slight rise in traffic the week I offered a contest for a gift card, with 153 visits/310 views.  But it didn't make a huge difference in numbers.

The good news is the numbers are keeping pretty steady.  The more exciting thing is that I'm getting visitors from all over the world.  I've had readers in the U.S and Canada, but also places like Egypt, Bahrain, Nepal, the Philippines, the U.K, France, South Africa, and Australia.   It seems the only continent I haven't hit yet is South America!

Thanks so much to everyone who stops by!  Be sure to leave your name and links in the comments section so I (and my fellow readers) can follow you too!